Airfoil flow separation control using plasma actuator driven by repetitive nanosecond pulse voltage was experimentally investigated. The pressure distribution on an airfoil surface was measured by means of a liquid manometer, which is free from electromagnetic interference of the plasma. By integrating the pressure distribution, the lift coefficient was computed and the effects of the input voltage amplitude and repetitive frequency were evaluated. The results show two different manners of the lift increment depending on the angle of attack. At the pre-stall and stall angle, the flow is steady and the lift increment does not depend on the frequency. A strong hysteresis effect is also observed, i.e., once the lift increases due to the plasma actuation, it is still increased even after the actuation stops. At the post-stall angle, the flow is unsteady and the lift increment becomes significant with actuation at frequencies related to inherent flow instabilities for the shear layer and wake, which are determined by the spectrum analysis based on hot-wire measurements. At the preference frequency ranges, there is a certain voltage amplitude depending on the angle of attack, at which the extended plasma layer results in an optimum increase of lift.
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